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VMware "Miles Ahead" of Microsoft Virtual Server 209

Posted by kdawson
from the virtualize-this dept.
sunshineluv7 writes, "IT managers gathered in New York City earlier this week to get advice from experts on when, why, and how to virtualize their server environments. The takeaway from the conference: if you want to run an enterprise-class virtualization platform in production today, stick with VMware." Other wise words from this conference: "Virtualization is a journey, not a project."
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VMware "Miles Ahead" of Microsoft Virtual Server

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  • VMware (Score:5, Informative)

    by dlichterman (868464) on Thursday September 28, 2006 @12:46PM (#16231723)
    Its also awesome that VMWare Server is available free to download. I installed it on my laptop running Ubuntu and can run Windows XP.

    http://www.vmware.com/download/server/ [vmware.com]
  • Re:virtual bsod? (Score:5, Informative)

    by joeytmann (664434) on Thursday September 28, 2006 @12:50PM (#16231797)
    Just for that VM. Now if the Host OS BSODs....thats bad for all VMs.
  • Re:VMware (Score:5, Informative)

    by Acer500 (846698) on Thursday September 28, 2006 @12:55PM (#16231913) Journal
    Microsoft's Virtual Server is also available for free:

    http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserversystem/virtu alserver/software/default.mspx [microsoft.com]

    Won't run on Ubuntu obviously :P
  • Re:VMWare is no good (Score:5, Informative)

    by LaughingCoder (914424) on Thursday September 28, 2006 @12:55PM (#16231923)
    Actually I was able to use the free VMWare player on XP and install Ubuntu 6.06 (http://www.vmware.com/vmtn/appliances/directory/5 59 [vmware.com]), which is one of the Virtual Appliances available on the VMWare site. It was pretty cool.
  • Re:VMWare is no good (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 28, 2006 @12:57PM (#16231963)
    Wow... I've had the exact oposite experience. I've been using Server, Workstation, and more recently infrastructure and haven't had any trouble virtualizing multiple distros of linux, win xp, and win 2003 server on several different hardware platforms. For me at least, it just works.
  • Re:virtual bsod? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Em Ellel (523581) on Thursday September 28, 2006 @01:32PM (#16232679)
    > Just for that VM. Now if the Host OS BSODs....thats bad for all VMs.

    Thats why you run a stripped down linux on Host and no apps (at least in server environment) :-)
    I am surprised there is no "vmware-host" Linux distro - something perfectly barebones and lightweight to run vmware server on :-)Of course maybe there is one and I just have not found it yet ;-)

    -Em
  • Portability (Score:4, Informative)

    by Spez (566714) on Thursday September 28, 2006 @01:44PM (#16232913)
    I have tested Virtual PC, Virtual Server and VMWare Server and VMWare Workstation for our testing environment, and it seems MS is more flexible in a way: you can easily copy a Virtual Machine from one computer to an other even if they have different hardware. With VMWare workstation, i had strange problems.

    I didn't have any of those problems using VMWare Server, but the web interface of MS VServer was really more usefull for our build machines, test environments and portability too.

    BUT, MS doesn't support x64 Guest Environment... so even though we have mostly a MS environment (using VirtualServer), we had to use a couple of VMWare Server machines to use WinXP x64...
  • Re:Real Virtual (Score:4, Informative)

    by value_added (719364) on Thursday September 28, 2006 @01:46PM (#16232961)
    Where's the study/chart contrasting VMWare with Xen virtualization?

    Probably in the section that's prominently labelled "RELATED CONTENT" that directly follows the article? A virtual representation of the relevant link:

    How does Xen stack up against Virtual Server, VMware? [techtarget.com]

    Shame they require registration.

    At any rate, I'm sure everyone would agree that the vwmare Wikipedia Article [wikipedia.org] is probably the most comprehensive source for information. Comparisons with other technologies are included.
  • by InsaneGeek (175763) <slashdot AT insanegeeks DOT com> on Thursday September 28, 2006 @01:50PM (#16233017) Homepage
    VMware workstation has some "experimental" hooks that can be turned on to allow direct access to the video card.

    http://www.vmware.com/support/ws55/doc/ws_vidsound _d3d.html [vmware.com]
  • Re:virtual bsod? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Tmack (593755) on Thursday September 28, 2006 @01:50PM (#16233027) Homepage Journal
    Its VMWare's non-free ESX server. You boot directly into a VMWare style OS, where you directly run VMs. It also has the benefit to pause/resume VMs, and even export them to other VM Servers on other hardware. Its like a Game Genie for servers!

    tm

  • by Wolfrider (856) <[moc.oohay] [ta] [nortuengnik]> on Thursday September 28, 2006 @02:01PM (#16233269) Homepage Journal
    Search the Vmware forums. Basically if your 64-bit processor supports hardware VT, you can run 64-bit guests.

    http://www.vmware.com/community/index.jspa?categor yID=1 [vmware.com]

    There is a RAM limit; I believe each Guest can access up to 3.6GB. However, having more RAM on the host means you can have more Guests (barring bottlenecks.)

    See:
    http://pubs.vmware.com/server1/wwhelp/wwhimpl/js/h tml/wwhelp.htm [vmware.com]

    --Check the Index under R (Ram).

    --Honestly, if a VM requires more than 3.6GB RAM you probably should be running its functionality on a physical box.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 28, 2006 @02:10PM (#16233459)
    I used VMWare Workstation when it was just "VMWare" and it was sluggish. However, since upgrading to 5.5 it runs great and every VM I've tried to install on it was a snap. I'm using the Linux host version-- running it on a FC5 system and am able to run Windows-only apps, such as SQL Server, in a guest OS.

    I also took a look at Parallels VM and it looked like a cheaper knockoff of VMWare Workstation. For the price it seemed fine but they didn't (and still don't-- I believe) support 64-bit host operating systems. VMWare Workstation supports 64-bit perfectly. I run a Windows guest all of the time on my linux system that I only reboot when I upgrade a kernel. I've never had any crashes as a result of running VMWare.
  • by csoto (220540) on Thursday September 28, 2006 @02:20PM (#16233631)
    Honestly, we're quite happy with VI3, but we need 3.0.1, due in October [vmware.com]. There are a few honestly quite stupid bugs in 3.0 that need to be attended to. The most aggravating part is the license server (based on flexlm, which is usually not so bad). Licensing is the one thing where VMware is going backwards on (although the COST of licensing is quite good now).
  • IBM VM (Score:5, Informative)

    by dayyan (1007043) on Thursday September 28, 2006 @02:28PM (#16233769)
    IBM's Virtual Machine (VM) is decades ahead of VMWare. It was first available in 1966. It's reliability, scalability, features, and more; have been enhanced since its beginnings, it is trusted by the most data and reliability sensitive companies and corporations in the world. It isn't just a hypervisor like VMWare or Microsoft's Virtual Suite--it's a full fledged operating system.

    It bothers me to watch those whom praise this or that without knowing more about it. Yes, VMWare is good, especially for the PC. However, don't lose sight of superior advancements we've already made in the name of hype and evangelism.
  • Apples and Oranges (Score:1, Informative)

    by jmn2519 (954154) on Thursday September 28, 2006 @02:28PM (#16233771)
    This isn't really a fair comparison. VMWare ESX Server runs on bare metal - it is the base OS. Virtual Server has to run on top of an existing operating system like XP or Win2003 Server. The problem with the MS approach is that you're constantly having to drop the host operating system to load patches or reboot (just like every other windows machine on the planet).

    So yeah, if you want an enterprise class virtualization solution you SHOULD be running VMWare. Things should be interesting in a year or two when M$ releases their bare metal virtualization engine. I believe the code name at the moment is viridian.

  • by OnlineAlias (828288) on Thursday September 28, 2006 @02:29PM (#16233793)
    The virtual copies are tied to the OS, not the VM software. So yes, you can run 4 copies legally on VM.
  • Re:virtual bsod? (Score:3, Informative)

    by mcrbids (148650) on Thursday September 28, 2006 @02:35PM (#16233929) Journal
    A VM is just that: a virtual machine. It has its own BIOS. It acts like a full computer. It boots off a (virtual or real) disk. It has "hardware" - video card, sound card, network adapter, etc. all virtual representations of the real machine.

    Think of it as a full computer within a window.

    If you boot a copy of Windows, in a VM, it nevers "sees" the host system, it sees this virtual machine in such a way as it is indistinguishable from a real one. The only apparent connection between the virtual machine and the host (real) one from the perspective of the VM is that they can ping each other, over the network, same as any other two machines.

    The host machine, however, can do a number of things. You can reset the VM, which is like hitting the reset button. You can save a snapshot - sort of like copying the entire HDD and saving a backup copy that you can revert to. You can suspend the VM, which is kind of like a pause button. The suspended VM can then be copied over to another computer, and the pause unset, so a single program can, without terminating or rebooting, be switched to another computer while still running!

    This is the basis for using VMs for high availability.

    And, it's pretty damned cool. I've had up to 4 virtual machines running on my Linux laptop, all within a virtual LAN. (they were networked, could ping each other, etc., each running applications, etc) It wasn't native speed, but it was quick enough to be useful.
  • Re:VMWare is no good (Score:4, Informative)

    by dmihalko (966391) on Thursday September 28, 2006 @03:01PM (#16234533)
    I have been a VMWare user for a few years now, as well as MS virtual PC, and tinkered with MS Virtual Server for some time... So far, the utilities i have found for VMWare have been very useful and havent found any for MS products, though i really havent looked. I found this product called MakeVM [freedownloadscenter.com] last week or so. It runs on a live windows box and clones straight to a VMware Virtual Hard drive, over network.

    so far i have used this on 4 legacy machines, and moved them straight to my VMWare host running on linux with samba, and had them all cloned and running in 2 days with no downtime. could have been less since i waste alot of time readin these articles..

    then i came across this utility diskmount [vmware.com] to map drives to virtual disks in the event that i need to do so, which has been rather handy...

    I use the free version on windows in my office for testing, on my windows and linux servers, at home on Ubunutu, and never had a problem with it with any guest OS. In addition, the fact that i can boot a guest OS directly from my windows hard drive through my Ubuntu session gives it extra points since i never have to reboot my computer

    VMWare is definitely the product i am sticking with...
  • Re:VMware (Score:2, Informative)

    by khelms (772692) on Thursday September 28, 2006 @03:46PM (#16235375)
    Um, no. Virtual PC will run Linux, but will not run ON Linux.
  • Re:Oh yeah? (Score:4, Informative)

    by div_2n (525075) on Thursday September 28, 2006 @05:33PM (#16237381)
    Who needs luck when you have documentation? [ibm.com]

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